There are many children in our congregation. If you look around you will notice that a significant portion of us are under the age of 10. This is as it should be. The Scriptures say that God has ordained praise in the mouths of infants, and Jesus says that unless we become like little children we cannot enter the kingdom of God. At the same time, little children are sometimes noisy, disobedient, sleepy, and otherwise distracting or challenging to parents. So first my exhortation is to the children, if you can hear my voice right now, Iím talking to you. You need to obey your parents and worship God with us. God says that you are welcome, and therefore I want you to know that we want you here. Secondly, parents, do not grow weary in doing good. Worship is the most important thing people can do, and therefore, teaching and training your children to worship is the most important thing you can teach and train them to do. But what about the challenges? First, remember your childrenís frame. Do not expect of a 2 year old what you might expect of a 5 year old. Unfortunately, many parents donít believe their young children are capable of anything. But if little children can sit and watch television, they can certainly be taught and trained to take part in worship. If older children can play complex video games they are more than able to learn the liturgy, and refusal to do so is laziness. Remember that you cannot be lax and undisciplined for 6 days during the week and then expect children to behave differently on Sunday. What you do here should train you for the week, and what you do during the week is training for what you do here. So in other words, you should take opportunities during the week to train your children for worship. Family worship might be a good time to practice singing and praying and listening, sitting and standing and kneeling. Finally, remember that we are all gathered here now to ascend into the heavenly places to worship the living God. We do not know how this takes place, but Scripture says that this is true and we believe it. And all of us are going, and according to Jesus there is an important sense in which our children are leading the way.
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